More than a pretty face
MODEL, MOTHER, ACTOR AND FREE-SPIRITED FRENCH BEAUTY LAETITIA CASTA TALKS EXCLUSIVELY TO EW ABOUT FINDING HER PASSION FOR THEATRE AND THE TRUE INTERPRETATION OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN
Laetitia Casta. More Than A Pretty Face:
It’s 3pm in Cannes, France and Laetitia Casta has just touched down from Paris. She’s in town for the prestigious Cannes film festival and, without an ounce of make-up and dressed down in a pink knit and jeans, she exudes natural beauty. We meet on the balcony of a suite at the famous Hotel Barrière Le Majestic. Just below us, the red carpet awaits the hustle and bustle of celebrities and film buffs who will later walk up the illustrious steps into the Palais des Festivals for the evening’s screenings. As we talk about the stunning setting of the Promenade de la Croisette and the glorious southern French weather, Laetitia’s calm and composed demeanour becomes apparent as we settle into our conversation. “I’m a nature girl at heart,” says the 39-year-old former Victoria’s Secret Angel as she cites her original hometown of Normandy as the place she escapes to with her new husband, actor Louis Garrel, when in need of a breather from the hectic city life of Paris.
She started her modelling career at the age of 15 after a photographer spotted her on the island of Corsica while holidaying with her parents and two siblings. Casta’s non-conventional reputation quickly skyrocketed (she’s known for her strong feminist values and for refusing to succumb to stereotypical model ideals such as having a perfect Hollywood smile), landing her coveted campaigns with major beauty brands and fashion houses such as Vivienne Westwood and Jean-Paul Gaultier as well as being named the ‘hottest woman in the world’, thanks to a Rolling Stone magazine cover in 1988. She also starred in a string of music videos for the likes of Rihanna and Sting while turning her attention to acting.
“I never wanted to be a model,” she says. “When I started to do movies I got really passionate about it. It was actress Marianne Sägebrecht who told me early on if I wanted to be an actress to only do it if I had fire inside my stomach and if I didn’t have that, then I shouldn’t. Well, I did. With film I was able to express myself in a way I could never have imagined. It was like opening a door to something really profound within myself.” She established a name for herself appearing in French films and television shows. Her most critically acclaimed role was her portrayal of the young
“AFTER ONE SHOW, A WOMAN CAME TO ME AND TOLD ME MY CHARACTER HAD INSPIRED HER TO MAKE A HUGE LIFE DECISION. I CAN ONLY HOPE IT WAS A GOOD ONE!”